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Are Libyan Turks Ankara’s Trojan horse?

The descendants of Ottoman Turks represent an important foothold for Turkey in Libya, but the community is dispersed in various political and military camps, with some even resentful toward Ankara.
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For enthusiasts of adventures in former Ottoman lands, Turkish connections are easy to find across the region. In Iraq and Syria, for instance, the Turkmen minorities have long been seen as handy mediums of Turkish influence, though the realities on the ground have sometimes defied the expectations — like the affinity some Iraqi Shiite Turkmens feel toward Iran and the collaboration of some Syrian Turkmens with Damascus or the Kurds.

Recently, the role of the offspring of Ottoman Turks in Libya has become the subject of increased interest as the war in the country rages on, apparently with growing Turkish involvement. Ankara has thrown its weight behind the Tripoli and Misrata forces fighting the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Hifter, backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

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